Cole-Hamilton heads north to campaign in Blackford’s seat

At the most recent general election, the SNP took 48.3% of the vote in the seat.

LibDem’s Alex Cole-Hamilton heads to Highlands to campaign in Ian Blackford’s SNP seat Scottish Lib Dems

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton is heading to the Highlands to campaign for his party’s prospective candidate in Ian Blackford’s seat.

The SNP’s former Westminster leader announced on Tuesday that he will stand down as the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber at the next general election.

The constituency was held by ex-Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy before Blackford won it in 2015.

At the most recent general election, the SNP took 48.3% of the vote in the seat.

Speaking ahead of the visit, Cole-Hamilton said: “After losing Charles Kennedy as their MP in 2015, the people of Ross, Skye and Lochaber have been deprived of effective representation.

“As public servants, it is incumbent on us to reflect the better natures of the people we seek to serve.

“Nobody did that with more decency and grace than Charles.

“At the next election, we will bring Charles Kennedy’s old constituency back into the Liberal Democrat fold by electing Angus MacDonald to Westminster.”

Blackford resigned from his role as the party’s Commons leader in December last year, but will leave altogether at the next national vote, it was announced on Tuesday.

In a statement, Blackford said he had thought “long and hard” about whether to stand in the vote, adding he was “privileged and humbled” to represent the party at Westminster.

He added: “My desire to see Scotland become an independent country, and for our country and its people to achieve its full potential, remains as strong as when I first entered politics decades ago.

“Although I will not be standing for the Westminster Parliament at the next election, I look forward to playing my part in the continuing campaign for Scottish independence and supporting our first minister and the SNP as we go forward to the next election and beyond.”

Blackford said he would remain as a business ambassador to First Minister Humza Yousaf going forward.

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